• The Next-Gen "AM9" Aston Martin Vanquish Will Offer Something Most Supercars Don’t Have These Days

It’s a throwback equipment that lets you relive the days when you had ownership of your supercars on the road

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Aston Martin’s goal to reinvent itself as a bonafide purveyor of high-end performance cars isn’t slowing down anytime soon. As if the inevitable arrivals of the Valkyrie and Vulcan hypercars aren’t enough, the British automaker is also scheduled to launch the mid-engined Vanquish supercar, complete with…a manual transmission. Oh, yes. People who love to be in control of their supercars on the road can test their driving skills anew once the next-generation Vanquish arrives, presumably around 2022. There’s no word yet on what kind of manual gearbox Aston Martin plans to use on the mid-engined Vanquish, but it’s a manual gearbox nevertheless. That alone is reason enough to get excited about the possibilities, especially when every performance car maker worth its salt has all-but-abandoned the manual transmission in any of their exotics.

The Aston Martin AM9 Vanquish Will Have a Manual Transmission

The Next-Gen "AM9" Aston Martin Vanquish Will Offer Something Most Supercars Don't Have These Days Exterior Spyshots
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There once was a time when the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the world offered manual transmission supercars. Heel-and-toe style shifting addressed a driver’s need, especially when it comes to the purity of self-gear-selection. There’s nothing artificial about it; the car responds to how you want it to be driven. But that was then.

These days, technology and the continued pursuit of driving innovation has all but made the manual transmission extinct. T

hat’s especially true in the supercar world where there is no single manual gearbox in the entire Ferrari and Lamborghini range of models. In fact, the mere thought of a Ferrari and Lamborghini with a manual transmission is as positively foreign as seeing someone speak High Valyrian in the common tongue.

Aston Martin, though, is different. Not only is the British automaker looking to smash its way to the supercar segment, it’s doing so with a car that will reportedly a feature a manual transmission. Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has been vocal in his plan to use a manual transmission on one of the automaker’s new supercars, and, according to Car Sales, it looks like the next-generation, mid-engined Vanquish will receive that honor.

The Next-Gen "AM9" Aston Martin Vanquish Will Offer Something Most Supercars Don't Have These Days Exterior Spyshots
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"I’ve already made a commitment that I want to be the last manufacturer in the world to offer manual sports cars, and I want to honor that commitment," Palmer told the Australian car site.

Now, it’s still unclear what kind of manual transmission Aston Martin’s going to use in the Vanquish, but it does have a few options on the table, including a seven-speed manual transmission that also sits inside the Vantage AMR.

This specific transmission comes with a motorsport-inspired dog-leg layout that’s distinguished by an up-over-up shift between first and second gear. What’s so important about this particular layout compared to, say, a typical seven-speed manual layout? The layout essentially places first gear where the reverse gear is normally found since this gear is only necessary when a performance car sets off from an idle position. The rest of the gears are arranged traditionally, making it more accessible to naturally shift gears, especially when the car is on a racetrack. Gearboxes with a dog-leg layout are more natural fits in performance cars because of the frequency in shifts between second gear and third gear.

2018 Aston Martin Vantage AMR High Resolution Interior
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If Aston Martin ends up using the same seven-speed manual transmission from the Vantage AMR, it would explain why a dog-leg layout would be well-suited for a car like the mid-engined Vanquish.

Remember, the new Vantage has gone way past the classifications of a two-door grand tourer. Aston Martin switched things up with the goal of turning the Vanquish into a full-blown supercar that can compete against the Ferrari F8 Tributo and the McLaren 720S. As far as gearboxes go, a dog-leg layout goes a long way in enhancing the kind of credibility the Vanquish needs to be seriously thought of as a bonafide supercar.

For what that’s worth, the British automaker appears to be on its way to accomplishing that goal. We first saw what the next-gen Vanquish could look like when it unveiled the Vanquish Vision Concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. One look at the concept, and you know that its purpose is to give birth to a production model that could turn the whole segment over its head.

The Next-Gen "AM9" Aston Martin Vanquish Will Offer Something Most Supercars Don't Have These Days
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As exciting as it is to imagine what the next-generation Vanquish could turn into, the supercar isn’t expected to arrive until 2022. That leaves Aston Martin somewhere in the neighborhood of two years to develop the car ahead of its hyped up launch. It’s understandable to imagine specific details about the car changing in the course of its development, including whether it ends up receiving a manual transmission or not. That also extends to the kind of engine Aston Martin plans to use.

At the moment, reports indicate that the next-gen Vanquish will use a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 engine with some hybrid assistance thrown in for good measure.

It’s the same powertrain that will end up inside the Valhalla — another one of Aston’s mega car projects — when it arrives sometime in 2021. Both models will produce different outputs, though, to reflect their place in the company’s new performance car pecking order. The 500-unit Valhalla is expected to sit below the flagship Valkyrie hypercar. Its hybrid setup is slated to produce in excess of 1,000 horsepower with Aston intending it to be more usable as an everyday car compared to the Valkyrie. The next-generation Vanquish, however, won’t be as limited as the Valhalla. It’ll arrive as a “mainstream” model that will compete against segment-occupants like the Ferrari F8 Tributo and the McLaren 720S. As it is, the supercar is expected to produce somewhere in the vicinity of 700 to 720 horsepower.

The Next-Gen "AM9" Aston Martin Vanquish Will Offer Something Most Supercars Don't Have These Days
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A drop-top Volante version is also in the pipeline, as is a higher-performance AMR version.

Just don’t expect these models to arrive anytime soon. Not counting the arrivals of the three mega cars, the next-generation Vanquish is the first model to arrive sometime in 2022. The new Vanquish Volante and Vanquish AMR will follow later, though their respective timeframes are still unclear. Who knows, they might arrive sooner than later, packing their own manual transmissions in the process.

Further reading

2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Aston Martin Vanquish S.

The Next-Gen "AM9" Aston Martin Vanquish Will Offer Something Most Supercars Don't Have These Days Exterior Spyshots
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Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Aston Martin Vanquish.

The Next-Gen "AM9" Aston Martin Vanquish Will Offer Something Most Supercars Don't Have These Days
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Watch out Ferrari and McLaren, the mid-engined Aston Martin Vanquish is coming for you!

Source: Car Sales

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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